Poem: Sullen Suffering (Portrait of the Artist as Victim)

Feb 15, 2015 by Bethel Swift, in Poetry , Form & Free Poems

Psalm 139:13b ". . . You knit me together in my mother's womb."

I don't mean to criticize, (though I'm told You can handle that sort of thing)
but here I crouch, tugging at Your invisible cloak, because I am pulling apart at the seams:
a half dozen points of entry for death and disease . . .

Too theatrical a description for eczema, you say?
Well, thank you Elihu, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar,
but—as I am the miserable one—I'll write what I please.

Anyway, I don't claim Job's innocence (at least not with any ease).

No. I'll stick to the modern classic, "Why me?"
And while we're here, why the brain tumor for him? Breast cancer for her?
Starvation, rape, abuse, murder . . .
and for a select few: good health, wealth, and longevity?

Yes, yes, the Fruit, the Fall, the failure and all . . .
But you must admit, we are now very far fallen from that Garden's tree.
So must its bruised fruit still brand and disfigure me?

I can still see my grandfather scraping his blistered arms 'till they bleed.
Seated, quietly complacent--almost content--in his stoic misery.
If, by this, he taught me nothing else, his silence screamed:

"We must—before our Almighty Creator—suffer silently!"